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Chemotherapy in Parents May Make Offspring’s DNA Unstable & Riddled With Mutations

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User ID: 17348671
United Kingdom
09/23/2012 08:18 AM
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Chemotherapy in Parents May Make Offspring’s DNA Unstable & Riddled With Mutations
Chemotherapy is poison that happens to kill cancer cells faster than it kills healthy cells; that it wreaks havoc on the bodies of patients is unsurprising. But chemo may also affect their unborn children. According to a new study in PNAS, the offspring of mice treated with chemotherapy have higher rates of mutation, even though the offspring themselves were never exposed to the drugs.

The results suggest that these mutations arise from genome destabilization caused by exposure to chemo, rather than just mutated sperm from the treated father. Male mice in the study were exposed to one of three common anticancer drugs—cyclophosphamide, mitomycin C, or procarbazine—and then allowed to mate with untreated females. After sequencing a small piece of DNA from the offspring, the researchers found that mice with treated fathers had mutation rates up to twice that of mice with untreated fathers. Notably, these mutations were present in DNA inherited from both the treated father and untreated mother.

[link to blogs.discovermagazine.com]

[link to www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
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